I’m still feeling home-sick for India. It must be quite hot and humid there right now, but I still want to leap on the first plane out. In India it’s best not to think about physical comfort. Far better to focus on the magic and luxuriate in a sea of enchantment and miraculous transformation. Wherever I am there, even in smelly Delhi, I feel as though every second brings with it the key to a realm of wondrous possibilities—if only I could see it! I can feel you thinking, my god, the woman’s barking, or menopausal. And you’re probably right. But it’s not all fantasy and middle-age hormones. In India miracles really do seem to happen.
I noticed it first in Sikkim, or more precisely, Gangtok. One night I walked from the taxi to the hotel—some ten yards—in the dark. Now, if you’ve ever been to Sikkim you’ll know about the roads. Or should I say the craters around which the odd lump of concrete masquerades as road. The problem that night was that a crater looked to me, in my rather depleted state, like a shadow, and so I tried to walk over it. The bloody thing was at least three feet deep and without that magical whatever-it-is that only ever keeps me safe in India, my landing could have been nasty. Very nasty indeed.
For a night and a day I wondered if it was ‘nasty’, because my ankle hurt and walking wasn’t much fun. But as luck would have it, I spent the following afternoon at the Tsuk Lha Kang where Khandro still lived, and where Sogyal Rinpoche continued to do his daily practice. There’s no need, I’m sure, to describe the intensity of the atmosphere in that place; it was so full of other-worldiness my mind felt fit to burst. Suffice to say that after a couple of hours the pain in my ankle simply wasn’t there any more. Neither was there a bruise or a scratch or any other sign of violence. Mysterious healings have never happened to me here in the more rational part of this world. Far from it.
I didn’t own a camera during that visit in April 2006, so I have no photos. Instead, I’ll post a picture I took of the steps down to the office in Khyentse Labrang during a monsoon downpour, to try to discourage myself from brooding…